“Maggots in the Rice”
The phenomenon of female infanticide is as old as many cultures, and has likely accounted for millions of gender-selective deaths throughout history. It remains a critical concern in a number of “Third World” countries today, notably the two most populous countries on earth, China and India. In all cases, specifically female infanticide reflects the low status accorded to women in most parts of the world; it is arguably the most brutal and destructive manifestation of the anti-female bias that pervades “patriarchal” societies. It is closely linked to the phenomena of sex-selective abortion, which targets female fetuses almost exclusively, and neglect of girl children.
Not to compare the two (Western civilization and its privileged circumstances to China/India) at all, however, I did think of the expression “Maggots in the Rice” when I heard that John Travolta (56) and Kelly Preston (48) had a replacement son for the one they lost to an unfortunate condition. John and Elizabeth Edwards did the same thing. In both cases, a male child was lost. The Edwards’ boy to a car crash and the Travolta’s boy to an ailment. Travolta and Preston have a living daughter and the Edwards have two living daughters. Nevertheless, those daughters were simply not enough to carry on the patriarchal legacy, a son was essential.
Yet, we are told that society is equal and boys are not favored over girls.